To effectively fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, communication is essential. But how can we ensure that it contributes to an effective protection of victims? First, by agreeing on the vocabulary used. Indeed, many disagreements and confusions persist as to existing notions. Terms such as « pedophile », « child prostitution » or « child pornography » are increasingly criticized as being imprecise, harmful, or stigmatizing towards children. However, depending on the words used, different images and perceptions will be created. Thus, the proper use of terms is necessary to adopt coherent laws and policies to address these issues.

The purpose of this document is to define several key terms, which ECPAT Belgium advises to adopt to avoid causing any harm to victims.

After two years of research, ECPAT International publishes the first Global Study on the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, focusing on a phenomenon in constant evolution. Since 20 years, the number of victims has increased, despite the measures taken by the international community. Regarding the offenders, the western, caucasian, rich and aged male is no longer the typical delinquent. To break down false representations that still exist on this tragic reality, immerse yourself in the study!


Global Study SECTT


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Dutch businessman Pieter Ceulen, 60, from Antwerp, Belgium, has been sentenced to nineteen years imprisonment by the Antwerp criminal court for child sex crimes both in the Philippines and Cambodia. He had also filmed the abuse and shared the films with other pedophiles. The Dutch businessman was not in court for the sentencing and has already fled Belgium to return to Cambodia.

pieter ceulen

ECPAT welcomes this conviction but regrets that Mr. Ceulen might escape his sentence. So far, there is no extradition treaty between Belgium and Cambodia. Full cooperation between Belgian and Cambodian authorities will therefore be necessary to arrest the 60 year-old businessman.

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On the 13th and 14th of October, ECPAT Belgium attended the Don’t Look Away project’s final conference organized by ECPAT France. Around 100 experts from child rights NGO’s, the tourism sector and law enforcement agencies gathered in Paris to discuss how to better protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

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Eurostat published the 2015 edition of the report on statistics on human trafficking in the European Union, covering the period 2010-2012. Where do the identified victims of trafficking come from? And the traffickers? What form of exploitation are the most common? 19% of identified victims are children. 55% of identified victims are under 24 and 69% are sexually exploited. Belgium is no exception, being in the top five of the EU countries where the traffickers come from.

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These figures show the urgent need of better protection for children against trafficking. At the occasion of the EU Anti-trafficking day (18th of October), the Council of Europe recalled that governments must act to prevent and combat child trafficking.

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150,000 is the number of visits by month for this file sharing website. It was revealed and taken offline last August thanks to Norwegian journalists 10 years after its creation. During their investigation, the journalists identified 95,000 downloads including 500 from Belgian computers. Belgian prosecutors are trying to track down the Webmaster and users of this site. A bad news that shows us how much the fight against commercial sexual exploitation online is important.


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Following the Code of Conduct’s signature by ACCOR Belgium in 2014, the staff must be trained to prevent sexual exploitation of children.

The 8th , 22d and 29th  of  September, ECPAT Belgium conducted training sessions for ACCOR’s managers in order to help their staff to detect and act against child prostitution within their hotels.

Participants raised relevant questions about procedures and the identification of victims. Given the success of this initiative, other trainings will be organized next year.

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The 18th of November 2015 will mark the first European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Save the date and join us in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children!

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The purpose of the European Day, initiated by the Council of Europe, is to raise public awareness and to open the discussion on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse.

It will also offer the occasion to promote the Lanzarote Convention, a unique legally binding instrument for the criminalization of all forms of sexual abuse of children.

This Day is meant for children, parents, educators, decision-makers, NGO, etc. and for anybody that’s touched by  the protection of children.

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journee-mondiale-contre-le-travail-des-enfants-postEach year, about 2 millions children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, one of the worst forms of labour.

Each year, from all international tourists, one third travels in the period from June to August. Being well aware of the prostitution of children in certain tourist destinations, more efforts are needed to sensitize the public about the harmful impact of sexual exploitation of children.

If you witness a suspicious situation of commercial sexual exploitation of children, report on or Let’s act together to end this contemporary form of slavery!


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Ariane Couvreur from ECPAT Belgium & Didier Reynders, Belgium's Foreign Affairs MinisterOn November 6, ECPAT Belgium held a press conference for the launch of its website I say STOP ! in the presence of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Reynders.

This tool, a real innovation in the fight against sexual exploitation of children, received general support as well as the  special intervention of the Minister, who has extensively mentioned the importance and the crucial role of the I say STOP website.

M. Reynders was not the only one, many journalists as well as a very motivated collective including all the partners within the Group STOP and some financial sponsors came to the event to support the initiative.

This website is an initiative of the STOP Group, composed of the Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, the Tourist Industry Federation, the Belgian Carriers Federation, Plan Belgium, Child Focus, the Samilia Foundation and ECPAT Belgium. It has been developed by

Press articles from Metro and Libre Belgique
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